Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 25th, 2022

Red and green

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In a nature area along Yaupon Drive on December 8th something small and bright red in the distance caught my eye. Once I walked over to it I saw that it was the ripe fruit of a balsam gourd vine, Ibervillea lindheimeri, that had draped itself over the pad of a prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii. On another pad I noticed that one of the vine’s slender tendrils had coiled tightly around one of the prickly pear’s spines.



Back on October 21st I’d taken a picture in which cactus provided both red and green. That time the cactus wasn’t a prickly pear but Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, known as pencil cactus because of its slender joints (leptocaulis means ‘thin stalk’) and Christmas cactus because of its many small fruits that ripen to bright red. You can see that below from our stop at the I-20 Wildlife Preserve in Midland on our zig-zag way back to Austin, where this species also happens to grow.



© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 25, 2022 at 4:29 AM

Posted in nature photography

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